Wednesday, September 5, 2018

TYPHOON TIME by Ron Friedman

I first got acquainted with Ron Friedman in relation to WorldCon. When I found out he'd written a novel, as well as short stories, I was interested in asking him about his writing approach. His novel, TYPHOON TIME, is an (Canada) #1 best seller in time travel, and is described as "The Hunt for Red October meets Timeline."

MARTIN RICHTER, a pacifist history professor specializing in pre-WWII Germany, has two passions in his life—history...and opposing nuclear weapons.

ERIC SOBOL, a terminally ill holocaust survivor billionaire, learns of a wormhole that leads back in time to 1938, and he decides to do everything within his power to change the past.

Thanks to their efforts, a modernized Russian Typhoon-class nuclear submarine jumps the time barrier and appears in 1938, manned by 21st century multinational experts and equipped with the best technology money can buy. But when a saboteur steals a nuclear warhead and delivers it to the German navy, all of history is at stake. As the crippled Typhoon is ambushed by a U-boat wolf pack, Hitler contemplates how to use his newly acquired weapon to make all of Europe fall to the Third Reich….

You've been nominated for an Aurora Award for best fan writing and publication. What do you love most about fan writing and why?

 I’m privileged and honored to be nominated for the Aurora, Canada’s premier science fiction and fantasy awards, run by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.

 Fan writing is more than writing and sharing free stories based on someone’s else universe. Fan writing encapsulates all non-for-profit writing. In a way, when you, Karen, interview writers, both you and us, the writers, are not being paid for our effort. Therefore, we are Fan writers. Nevertheless, we are happy to write and make this interview a reality. We do so because this is our passion. Because this is our way of sharing our thoughts with the world. It is less important whether we get paid for it (professional writing) or not (fan writing). 

 I’m passionate about science, engineering and about the future of humanity. I believe that for creating a better future, we, humans, need to be less ignorant, more educated, and apply logic into our decision-making process.

One of the best way to help people look more favorably at science, is to incorporate it into storytelling. To encourage people to look more positively at science, science needs to be a more important part of storytelling than what it is today. Just like readers want to read stories with good characterization, plot and setting, readers should demand the science to be accurate in the stories they read.

To help writers improve their science literacy, I started to answer questions on Quora. Most of the questions are about space, but some are on other topics.

My Quora posts have more than 1.7 million views. For that, I was nominated for the 2018 Aurora Awards – Best Fan Publication.

To read more about my Aurora nomination and my Quora post, visit:

Speaking of science in storytelling, TYPHOON TIME explores what happens when weapons from the future get into the wrong hands. What do you hope readers take away from this story?  

The main thought I want the readers of my novel Typhoon Time to explore is:  If you know for certain that something really bad will happen in the future, will you take steps to prevent it? How far will you go? What will you be willing to do? Could there be a scenario where a preemptive strike is morally justified?

This question is critical today more than ever. You just need to watch the news, examine current events, politics and evaluate current trends to understand where we are heading. Will you do something about it?

I used the past as a metaphor, because there are many uncertainties in predicting the future. In contrast, we know with 100% certainty how history would unfold without intervention. When exploring the past, this moral dilemma is clearer.

 WWII was the most devastating war in human history. Approximately 70 million people perished in the war. Many cities in Europe, China and Japan were razed to the ground. The Holocaust was the only genocide in history where industrial methods were used to exterminate ethnic groups. The Nazis designed and built factories dedicated to the extermination of humans.

Clearly, WWII was not the brightest point in human history.

If you had the ability to go back in time and prevent WWII, would you?

People may give you various answers. We are, today, the outcome of a timeline where WWII did happen. Can we be certain that a world without WWII be a better world? This one is a good moral dilemma, isn’t it?

 But the more interesting question is: “If you could go back in time and prevent the war, how far will you go? What will you be willing to do to prevent that evil? Will you create a new holocaust to prevent another?

There is no clear answer to that question.

Indeed there isn't. You've also been published in Galaxy's Edge magazine. What do you like most about writing short fiction?

 I’m not a full-time author. I have a family and a full-time job, which, regrettably, leaves me with little time for writing. When I started my career, I had two options. Write novels, which may take a very long time to complete, or focus, at least at the beginning, on writing short stories.

 If you invest the little time you have writing novels, you will be able to produce very few of them. And when you first start to submit those, you are more likely to get a rejection than an acceptance, and it takes months to even get that rejection. In terms of time investment, I can write perhaps twenty short stories, and have at least 10 in circulation, or have only one novel in circulation.

 I … chose to do both.

 My first short story was published in 2011. My first novel in 2018. Without writing and publishing short stories, I don’t know if I would have had the stamina to continue writing all the way to 2018 without any prior recognition.

 I now have 14 short stories published, and one novel.

 Galaxy’s Edge was a breakthrough, at least for me. The philosophy of the editor, Mike Resnick, was to create a magazine for emerging writers. However, since he also wanted to generate sales, he invited a few well-known big-name authors. The result was a hybrid magazine which mixed new voices with stories by famous authors.

 Can you imagine my excitement when I saw my name published on Galaxy’s Edge, issue 12, January 2015, right beside the great Robert H. Heinlein? WTF.

Thanks to my story Game Not Over, which was selected by Mike Resnick to be included in Galaxy’s Edge, I’m now a member of SFWA.

SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America) is a great organization. What are some of your current projects? 

As was discussed earlier in the Fan Writing section, I have a passion for science and space.

Many people are saying we, humanity, should not be confined to one planet. We want to build self-sustained settlements on the Moon, Mars and in other places in space.

Many people advocate the ideas of colonizing space as an insurance policy in case something bad happened on Earth. And trust me, an extinction level event on Earth is only a matter of time. The strategy of putting all your eggs in one basket … um ... I mean one planet … didn’t work very well for the dinosaurs.

Colonizing space to ensure the long-term survival of humanity in case something bad happens here on Earth, is the theme I explored in my short stories collection, Escape Velocity. What would happen if in the future we build colonies on Titan, the Asteroid Belt, and Mars, and then … Earth is destroyed.  A Mad Max scenario, in space.

The project I’m working on now is a novel set in the same universe as my short stories collection, Escape Velocity.

Buy: Bookpassage ~ Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble ~ Indiebound

Buy: Bookpassage ~ Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble ~ Indiebound

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